Rings, Presents and Favours: a small yet precious guide to getting married in style
Choosing the wedding bands, a present for your witnesses and drawing up your wedding list. They’re all pleasant tasks, but not as simple as they seem. There are rules and traditions to be respected, and it’s not always easy to find the right object that’s both precious and thoughtful and manages to convey your feelings.
Andrea and Sara, the young owners of the Gioielleria Baroni, a jewellers in Santa Croce Sull’Arno, Pisa, which has been serving many couples from this small town and the Province of Pisa since 1953, can help us in our choice.
THE WEDDING BANDS
Numerous companies produce wedding rings and today, a number of brands are emerging with new and original models. For a number of years, the ring of choice was the so-called ‘French-style’, a thin and high band. The tendency over the last couple of years, however, has been for the traditional band, slightly lower and a little thicker.
Not everyone knows, however, that it is traditional that the two bands are of the same weight, just as the bride and groom must give the same weight to their love.
If the most popular choice is the traditional band, then the most popular colour is still gold, with a few exceptions among younger couples who often choose pink. Rarely, on the other hand is white gold chosen as for an object that has to last a long time, it has too much of a tendency to scratch.
On occasion, a small diamond is set in the bride’s ring and it has become popular to have a diamond set in the wedding band at a later date to commemorate an important wedding anniversary.
A precious word of advice? Don’t wait until the last minute to choose your rings, but go at least a couple of months early. This time is needed not only for the rings to arrive, but to try them out beforehand at a temperature similar to that of the wedding day. If the ring is difficult to get on, or too big, there’s still time to have them re-sized before the traditional exchange of rings on the big day.
After the choice, it’s habitual to leave the rings at the jewellers, for safety, and also a little bit for superstition. It’s often the witnesses who go to collect the rings from the jewellers and, according to custom, it is the witnesses who usually pay for the rings for the couple.
Both for the role that they carry out and for the close relationship that exists, the witnesses always deserve a special present. For the man, the most common choice, and always appreciated, is a watch, or if not cufflinks. Bracelets and necklaces are also becoming popular gifts, what matters is that they will be worn. For a woman, the choice is simpler and with the exception made for a ring, almost any object to be found in a jeweller’s will be appreciated. Ever more popular is the personalization of the gift: the initials of the witness on the cufflinks, or the back of the watch, are a must, for a woman the choice of stones or colours that have a particular meaning. They are all little details that show the care and attention with which the gift has been chosen.
The same goes for the gift that mother-in-law chooses to give, but with a few more obligations. If the mother-of-the-groom wants to choose a stone that the daughter-in-law will wear on the day of the wedding, she has to follow some precise rules: find out from the dressmaker what kind of stone is most suited to the bride’s dress and rigorously choose diamonds, symbol of eternal love, or pearls, symbol of purity. There’s also a practical reason for this choice: pearls and diamonds go with just about any wedding dress.
If the bride receives a bracelet as a gift, then this must be worn on the right hand, as the left hand must be left bare for the wedding band.
The most intimate family members or dearest friends are always on the lookout for a gift that will last in time, for which the choice is often silver or crystal or precious glass: vases, picture frames to name but a few.
Silver cutlery is still rare, which it shouldn’t be for two good reasons, firstly it is indestructible and can be used every day, secondly because it is a natural antibacterial. In addition, it is a gift that can be divided into place settings and therefore perfect for a wedding list to suit every pocket. Another good idea is a silver jug, which as well as bringing elegance and beauty to the table, has the antibacterial properties of silver.
Little objects made from silver, ceramics, glass or crystal make perfect favours too, which can be carefully kept by your guests who will appreciate the value and delicacy.
The Baroni Jewellers has existed in the centre of Santa Croce sull’Arno since 1953. In 2009, it was completely renovated by a couple of friends Andrea and Sara, who took over from the old owners, in a passing of generations.
Sticklers for tradition but with young and fresh ideas: the two friends have renewed their offer, selecting a range of exclusive new brands that are original and refined and fruit of their attendance at the most prestigious Italian and international trade fairs.
Their main values: honesty, trustworthiness, style.
Their mission: to find the most appropriate and personal object for all, that’s different from all the others.